Canadians spent $34 billion on prescription medicines in 2018. We are paying some of the highest prices amongst high income countries for prescription medicines. Nearly 8 million people have no drug coverage, 1 in 5 struggle to pay for their prescription medicines and 3 million don’t fill their prescriptions altogether. Canada is the only high-income country with a universal health care system that does not include prescription drug coverage. Over half of the people served by Alliance members live on low incomes and many cannot afford to cover their prescription drugs.
In 2019, the Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare recommended that the federal government work with provincial and territorial governments to establish universal, single-payer, public prescription drug coverage in Canada, with the following core components:
- Universal: providing all residents of Canada with equal access to a national pharmacare system;
- Comprehensive: providing broad range of safe, effective, evidence-based treatments;
- Accessible: basing access to prescription drugs on medical need, not ability to pay;
- Portable: ensuring benefits should are portable across provinces and territories when people travel or move; and
- Public: a national pharmacare system that is publicly funded and administered.
Access to prescription medicines is fragmented, unequal and uneven. This undermines overall health and wellbeing for Canadians. We need to ensure that all Canadians have access to prescription medicines. As we approach the 2019 federal election add your voice to the growing call for the next federal government to implement a national pharmacare plan.
Meet with your MP and talk to federal candidates about a national pharmacare plan. Ask what steps their party will take to make prescription medicines accessible for all?
- Community Health Centres 2019 Federal Policy Agenda
- Report- A Prescription for Canada: Achieving Pharmacare for All
Learn more and add your voice to the call for universal pharmacare by supporting these campaigns.